Sunday, 28 June 2009

Summer Show 2 - Preview

We have selected the artists and are now finalising the work for our second Summer Show, which starts mid August. The theme is going to be related to landscapes, all with a Cornish influence - either through the artist or the work.

But it would be very misleading to imply these are some picture postcard style paintings of the cornish coast. Take a look at a selection of images from some of the artists, to get a taste of what's to come.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

New Summer Show

Our new Summer Show starts next week and we have an exciting blend of new and established artists. The work being exhibited will be a mix of media and styles that is sure to capture the imagination of new and regular viewers. The list of artists are:

Jesse Leroy Smith - Paintings
Richard Southall - Sculpture and installation
Catherine Knight - Paintings
Simon Ledson - Paintings
Nici Ruggiero - Ceramics
Jessica Slater - Paintings

A selection of photos can be seen here. More images of the work on show and a profile of the artists will be on our website next week.

If you would like to receive an invitation to the private view next Friday (3rd July) then ensure you are signed up to our database and an email invitation will be sent soon.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Auction Artists

We now have the full list of artists whose work will be included in the auction on Friday 26th June (6.30pm):

Banksy, Grafter, BAM, Stick Man, Avian Security, FarkFk, Snik, Ben Slow, SPQR, Agent Provocateur, Data, Lee Ellis, Martin Whatson, LET, Boon, Oliver Winconeck, Jess Hartridge, Phil Blake, and K74 will all have work in the auction.

Photos of a selection of the 20+ urban paintings to be included in the auction can be seen here. We may also add a few more on the night if it's going well.

The reserve price for some of this work will be well below market price (from only £50) and so there may be some real bargains to be had. We also expect some lively bidding for some of the higher value work (you now who), and we already have some registered telephone bids. 

Remember, all the profit goes to the charity NACOA, so there's two reasons to feel good about your purchase.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Banksy Show Review

Having spent a couple of hours in the Bristol City Museum today, I think the answer to the question Banksy asks us (above) is 'not many'. As I listened to and observed people's reaction, the most frequent response to his new show was definitely laughter. There was a hint of anarchy and a frequent reference to the social comment we've been used to on the street, but the overwhelming feeling I got was that Banksy was having fun. Maybe having fun at the expense of the art world, the council, and maybe at himself. I applaud the museum for hosting the show, and even more so for the freedom Banksy clearly had with the curation. They have definitely opened their doors to a whole new set of art lovers.

The show is split into 4 main areas. In the first hall there are a number of large classical sculptures with very modern and amusing poses, all surrounding a burnt out ice cream van. The angel holding a cigarette and a lipstick-smeared can of beer made me smile, as did the stone lion who had eaten his tamer. A very safe introduction to the show.

In the second room was the more traditional Banksy work, with graffiti style painting and a stronger more challenging commentary to some of the content. There was enough work in his replica studio alone to spend an afternoon looking at, but time didn't permit. Some of the work was familiar in style and subject, with the inclusion of some interaction - many kids and Japanese tourists enjoyed poking their heads through the cut-outs of a seaside style take on a classical painting. I had to revisit this room once I'd satisfied my curiosity and excitement with a quick tour.

The third room was the biggest diversion from urban art and introduced animatronics in a zoo format with caged animals. Each cage or glass cabinet had a twist inside, some very obvious (like swimming fish fingers in a bowl) and some quite subtle and very life like - I found the monkey artist quite addictive to watch.

The remainder of the show was incorporated into the existing rooms and among the resident art work. This 'find the Banksy' was an event in itself and was causing great surprise and amusement among adults and children. Someone had to point out the penis in the stalagmite case to me! I won't tell you any more because half the fun is the discovery. For those with less time, or no sense of fun, there is a quick way to see them all (but I'll let you find that for yourself). And for those who can't get to see the show (although it's free and definitely worth the trip from almost anywhere), here are a selection of photos.

I'm sure there will be many reviews commenting on the importance of this exhibition, the cross over of urban and fine art, the outrage of bastardising classical art or the hypocrisy of an artist who is now a part of the world he once ridiculed. I prefer to see it as a gift to Bristol from where it all began, and most importantly... to not take it too seriously. 

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Urban Art Auction

Bristol seems to be going Urban Art crazy in June. First we had the UPFEST weekend of live painting around the city, including our Urban Art Show, then Banksy's surprise exhibition at the Bristol City museum, and now we have an Urban Art auction at the gallery.

On Friday June 26th at 6.30pm we will be auctioning paintings made at the UPFEST weekend and also work from our current show. All profits are going to the festival charity NACOA. News of the artists and images of the work to be auctioned will be here on our news blog soon. Keep looking on the site, or follow us on Twitter to get the news as soon as it happens.

To receive an invitation to the auction, please join our database, and you will be kept informed of, and invited to, future gallery events.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

UPFEST 2009 winds down

UPFEST 09 is winding down and we've had an amazing festival weekend. It started Friday afternoon with Snik and Ben Slow painting two pieces on the gallery outer walls and one on the entrance floor (photo above). Take a look at photos of them making of these great paintings.

Then on Friday night we held the launch party and private view, where collectors and admirers were first to see the Urban Art show at View. Lots of happy people went away with anything from a small print at under £100 to a Banksy for thousands. 

On Saturday we had a continuous stream of people visiting, from 9am (before we open!) through to the evening. It was wonderful to see so many people in the gallery and also to receive such positive feedback - our comments book is overflowing, thank you.

With the festival closing today we continue with our show for 3 weeks, ending with an auction on the last day. We've sold out of one artist and others are going fast. We hope to replenish stock with work made at the other festival venues. We'll let you know here.

There are many tired and yet happy people who organised and took part in a very successful festival. And lets not forget it was supporting a very worthy charity, NACOA.